Updated: Sep 12, 2020
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Why I choose this book ?
We had the talk with my oldest son and although he is passing in a lot of ways he is not white you can pick him out when he is with his friends. He was like okay mom I am never going to need this info. I believe having the talk saved his life. He was at a homeschool event seven hours away from us when the cops were called on him for " looking suspicious" being in a white neighborhood while talking to his girlfriend on the phone outside . I got a call from him telling me he was okay two cop cars showed up , he did what we talked about he showed his hands, only spoke and looked them in the eye when spoken to., he took off his hoodie. The mom responsible for him said she did not call me because it was not big deal . She spent the rest of the night ingraining into him that is was not big deal. The homeschool bubble does not ensure our kids safety.
My older son also asked that I not have the talk with his younger brother because it's where his anxiety started. He did not want to take away his brothers childhood. I cannot express how heart broken and angry I am. My friend Erika gave me some insight in changing the talk because after Philando Castile murder I am telling my kids that if a cop is going to murder you there is nothing you can do. The last though I wanting them wondering is what did I do wrong.
This book is start of the conversation for Logan. Logan is Dylan twin born eight years later. His personality however is very different when he feels wronged he goes from 0 to 60 and having the talk with him has been hard for him to grasp. We got the audio book and the kindle version that he is reading to me. There is a lot of questions that have come up . With Dylan I started the talk late and to much at one time I learned a valuable lesson that with Logan I am starting earlier and taking it slower.
You may read below and think not for my kid I get you I wish more than anything this was not a conversation we had to have either. Join us as we support each other through tough conversations and empower our kids to be proud of who they are and that they are not alone.
This is a BIPOC space but I encourage those raising white kids to read this book and have a different version of the talk with your kids. Let them know what will help or hurt there friends without the privilege of their white skin.
About the Book
A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better. Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing. Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions. Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today's world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own. Download the book guide below.
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